Oral Cancer Screening Silver Spring, Maryland
How much awareness do you have regarding oral cancer? Not many people realize how serious this disease can be. Silver Spring dentists are not only concerned about your teeth, but also your health. We want to do all we can to increase awareness and perform routine oral cancer screening for our patients.
Research by the National Cancer Institute indicates that more than 40,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer. Sadly, because of late diagnosis, the five-year survival rate will be less than 50 percent. Why is oral cancer so dangerous? Even though oral cancer often starts with seemingly manageable small sores or lesions, the fact that it originates in the mouth causes these cancerous cells have quick and easy access to the rest of the body. What begins in the lips, gums or cheek will quickly spread to the throat, lungs and lymph nodes. Then, just as rapidly, it can move to every other part of the body through the bloodstream. Once the cancer spreads, it is nearly impossible to contain. This is why early diagnosis is key. The best dentist in Silver Spring can help with regular oral cancer screenings.
Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
- Being over the age of 55
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Excessive sun exposure
- Being infected with a certain type of HPV
- Genetic predisposition for the disease
- Taking drugs that suppress the immune system
Routine Oral Cancer Screening Silver Spring
During your regular Silver Spring dental visits we routinely screen for oral cancer. However, just because we suggest this screening does not mean we think you have cancer. It is a precautionary measure, looking for cancer before any serious symptoms occur. If we do find suspicious sores and cancer is found and diagnosed early enough, it may be easier to contain and treat. When it comes to oral cancer, early diagnosis is the best method to stop a potentially life-threatening disease in its tracks.
Dentists in Silver Spring have the tools, training, and expertise to spot early symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions. During the appointment, Dr. Keith examines the entire inside of your mouth, looking for red or white patches or mouth sores. Though these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is still important to rule out oral cancer. Then we examine the rest of your face, throat and head for lumps or abnormalities. If any curious lesions or lumps are spotted then we will sometimes do additional diagnostic tests.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Swelling or thickening resulting in strange lumps
- Rough spots or crusts on the lips, gums, or inside of mouth
- Unexplained numbness or loss of feeling
- Red or white sores in the oral cavity
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Chronic hoarseness or sore throat
- Chronic ear aches
- Sores that bleed and don’t heal
- Dramatic and unexplained weight loss
If you experience any of these strange changes in your mouth, face or throat then you should contact Silver Spring emergency dentist or healthcare provider right away. We can quickly review your patient history, provide a physical exam and submit a biopsy for diagnosis. Dana Keith, DDS is in doing simple, quick screenings to examine your oral cavity as a whole. If there is a concern, we will do our best to find it.
If we see any tissue in your mouth that looks suspicious we will perform an oral brush biopsy. It is a painless test and will take a small sample of tissues to be tested. Though we cannot do much in way of treatment if you do have cancer, we can help diagnose early and make sure you seek treatment as soon as possible.
Dedication to Complete Oral and Overall Health
At Dana Keith DDS, we are not only dedicated to treating your teeth and smile. We are also concerned for your overall health and wellness. Oral cancer can be life-threatening. The oral cancer screening is just another reason not to put off your regular dental appointments with our office. The more aware you are about oral cancer, the more we can to together to prevent the disease from spreading and progressing. Why not make that extra effort if it could save your life?
During your next dental appointment feel free to ask our dentist about oral cancer and what we do during our oral exam for early detection.